Government of India is quite hopeful and striving continuously in its pursuit of nation building and in order to achieve the goals, Government is realising the importance of nurturing the youth capital of the country.

Advertisement and sales of junk food within 50 metres of the radius of schools and institutions are to be banned as per the recent circular of FSSAI, Government of India. Initiatives are taken to ameliorate the food and nutrition habits of students at a very tender age to combat the inclination towards Junk food which is driving the youth workforce in trench of ailments.  FSSAI seems hopeful that the regulations will certainly rake up the health quotient of Youth of India and India will step towards a brighter and healthier future.

On Tuesday, in this regard, Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and healthy diets for School Children) Regulations, 2020, has notified about the new regulations.

For the stakeholders, “Sufficient transition time will be given to all stakeholders before enforcing these regulations,” the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said.

FSSAI also asked different state Food departments and governing bodies to formulate and mend up balanced diets in concordance with the general guidelines given in the regulations.

As per the regulations, “Foods which are referred to as food products high in saturated fat or trans-fat or added sugar or sodium (HFSS) cannot be sold to school children in school canteens/mess premises/hostel kitchens or in an area within fifty meters from the school gate in any direction.”

School authorities must abide by the regulations and warning board must be installed and written “Do not sell (including free sale or market or advertise) the food products high in saturated fat or trans-fat or added sugar or sodium within school premises or campus” in English or in one Indian language, as applicable, is displayed prominently at the entrance gate or gates of the school, Statement reads further.

Besides, a license will have to be obtained for selling or catering school meals by the school authority itself or FBOs contracted by the school authority.

“FBOs contracted by the state government for operation of Mid-day Meal Scheme will also have to get the license. They have to comply with the requirements of sanitary and hygienic practices to the food service establishments as specified under schedule 4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011”, the FSSAI added.

“It is important that right eating habits should be ingrained in children right from early childhood. The importance of a healthy and balanced diet leads to development of cognitive ability in children and helps them learn better and grow healthy,” FSSAI said.

Further, provisions must be made to appoint “Health and wellness ambassador” at nodal and institutional levels.

Main objective behind FSSAI’s regulations is to reduce the junk food intake in juveniles and promoting and infusing safer and healthier food habits to make future citizens disease free and nation as “Healthy India”.

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